Hidden World! Balad Sayt in Oman Mountains .....{by Bassam}

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Deep in Oman's countryside are many villages that still retain their traditional charm and sense of rural solitude. Perhaps the most appealing of these is Bilad Sayt, a tranquil mountain hamlet tucked away in the protective embrace of Al Rostaq's rugged hills.Every year scores of local and foreign tourists make the bumpy journey by 4WD and on foot for a glimpse of this remote village and its picturesque settings. They marvel at its unspoilt beauty and traditional character, which is a world away from the bustle and stress that generally characterises life in urban areas.

Bilad Sayt's old-world appeal lies in its cluster of stone-and-mud dwellings laid out like steps along the slope of a rocky hill. It is a typical Omani communal-style settlement, not very different from the old neighbourhoods of Al Hamra, Nizwa and Adam where homes are built in a tight huddle. A labyrinth of narrow pathways connects these atmosphere dwellings, some of which are even two or three storeys high. A formidable square tower, now in poignant ruin, stands on top of the hill overlooking Bilad Sayt.

A verdant swathe of date palms and a patchwork of terraced fields accentuate the scenic beauty of this natural setting. All around are the impressive profiles of mountains that are a part of the Jebal Shams range.From somewhere deep within these mountains emerge crystal streams of water that eventually feed the village's two main aflaj. These nurture the area's lush heritage of date palm gardens and farms below. The overflow ends up in the wadi that skirts Bilad Sayt and meanders on for about 7km, cutting a deep swathe through the surrounding mountains.

Before it joins forces with the spectacular Wadi Bani Auf downstream, this wadi creates dramatic gorges that also invite discovery. Adding to the village's rustic charm is the sight of farmers tending lush fields of alfalfa, and womenfolk returning from the mountain springs with pots of fresh water gingerly balanced on their heads. In summer, men from the village set out early every morning to scour the nearby mountains for the bhoot tree that produces a type of sweet, purple-coloured berry. The tree usually grows along the ridges of high mountains, notably in Jabal Shams and Al Jabal al Akhdar, and its fruit is hugely coveted by Omanis around the Sultanate. Moreover, the bhoot is widely touted for its nutritive and health properties.

While looking for berries in the mountains, the villagers also check out caves and crannies for honey stashed away by wild bees. This pure, natural honey is also in great demand around the Sultanate. Because of its location high in the mountains of the Jebal Shams range, Bilad Sayt enjoys moderate daytime temperatures even in summer while the rest of the interior region sizzles. Winter weather can be especially pleasant. Just three kilometres from Bilad Sayt is another tranquil Omani village located deep in the wedge of mountains.

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Comments (223)

Shrdn on June 7, 2012

Very impressive, Bassam. Original light effects through the valley. Big like, my friend! Ciao Roberto

Frederic Baiges on June 8, 2012

Molt xula la foto. M'agrada, L106

Salutacions cordials. Frederic

Dimitris Liapopoulos… on June 8, 2012

Excellent view, very beautiful photo!

Good luck in the contest

✰ 41 ╬ 107 ♥

Warm greetings, Dimitris

Bassam Jayousi on June 8, 2012

Polifemo, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like+Fav.

Best wishes, Bassam

Bassam Jayousi on June 8, 2012

Roberto, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like.

Best wishes, Bassam

Bassam Jayousi on June 8, 2012

Moorteufel, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like.

Best wishes, Bassam

Bassam Jayousi on June 8, 2012

Frederic, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like.

Best wishes, Bassam

Bassam Jayousi on June 8, 2012

Dimitris, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like+Fav.

Best wishes, Bassam

KhoiTran on June 9, 2012

Very nice photo! Like!

Jean-Pierre Pourcine… on June 9, 2012

Superb Bassam YsL

Greetings,Jean-Pierre

Bassam Jayousi on June 9, 2012

KhoiTran, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like.

Best wishes, Bassam

Bassam Jayousi on June 9, 2012

Jean-Pierre, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like+Fav.

Best wishes, Bassam

Salvador Rafael Busó… on June 9, 2012

Very good composition

  • Nice, like

Voro

Bassam Jayousi on June 10, 2012

Voro, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like.

Best wishes, Bassam

Bassam Jayousi on June 10, 2012

Mariano, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like+Fav.

Best wishes, Bassam

Like dear friend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A.Ypeij on June 10, 2012

Great capture. Nicely composed! LIKE

Alla Saed on June 10, 2012

صورة رائعة البوم مميز تحيات م علاء سعيد من ليبيا like

Sensei or SunSay on June 10, 2012

Very nice place and shot!
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YSL = ○○○✰ 54 ✰ ○○○ & ○○○ ♥ 125 ♥ ○○○
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Kind regards
Yuri
from Ukraine

Guizel J.c on June 10, 2012

Wonderful shot dear friend BASSAM

YS & LIKE

Have a great day

Cheers from Portugal to you.J.C

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on June 5, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Bassam Jayousi
    • Taken on 2012/06/05 10:54:58

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